The world we are living in today is slowly deteriorating, with this generation seeing its effects firsthand, with climate change, trash piles sailing in the ocean, sink holes, etc. Many politicians have debated over whether new laws and policies should be implemented to cut down on the damage we do to this planet. Moist of the time it is just back-and-forth arguing that results in no progress. Climate change is always brought up in candidates’ campaigns, but when they get into office, nothing is passed, no cutbacks, nothing. Even when our own political government cannot make up its mind, there are other NGO’s and environmentalist organizations that step in and help where they can. For example that provides safe water and sanitation efforts to countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Or Greenpeace, whose mission is: Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.
In Iraq there are many environmental problems that have been with Iraq long since the Invasion of 2003. Mentioned in a CBS News article, “A major threat to the Iraqi people is the accumulation of physical damage to the country’s environmental infrastructure,” the U.N. Environment Program said in conjunction with the release of a study of Iraq. Iraq has water contamination problems, hazardous air pollution and waste from the destruction of factories and facilities during the many wars of Iraq, and various other health and safety concerns. Because of the recent and continuing turmoil in the region, there has been a decline in NGOs in Iraq. Stated in an Institute for War and Peace Reporting article, other foreign governments and organizations have slashed their development spending in Iraq, citing security problems and pervasive graft as a factor. The only positive happening, in terms of environmental action, as of recently in Iraq comes from Azzam Alwash, an Iraqi. In 2004, Alwash founded Nature Iraq, the country’s first—and only—environmental nonprofit, according to FastCompany. His mission was resto
re what Saddam Hussein destroyed: the marshes. “Today, nearly half of the original marshlands in the country have been restored, and they’re about to become a national park.” This is a huge feat considering how badly damaged Iraq was during and after Hussein’s regime.
With stories like Azzam Alwash and plenty other around the world, it seems that people and organizations are taking it into their own hands to save this planet, one step at a time. This raises the question: Is it our moral duty to help save this planet and keep it sustainable for future generations? In a sense, yes it is our duty, but It also should have been a priority during the times these acts were being committed. Almost everyone (excluding environmental activists) always forgets about environmental problems until they become a personal problem. For example, the Mosul Dam in Iraq did not become a huge issue until it was on the verge of collapsing. The collapse would have caused all sorts of problems for Iraqi citizens, one being the death of millions. But it never became a ’real’ problem until it starts affecting people’s lives, literally. Fishermen, another example, never thought that there would be a decline in fish from over fishing. Cosmetic companies never would have cared about the microfiber in their face washes if it was not for environmentalists stating that microfibers kill sea biodiversity. Environmental problems only become known when it is too late, so I believe that it is, in some aspects, our moral duty to help protect this planet and keep it sustainable for future generations.